You can’t win this classic game if you never learn the rules. And you might want to start right away because the once-forgotten game of chess is making a major comeback. It’s been featured in movies, talked about on TV, and used for competitions all over the world. So, keep reading to learn how to play chess in 5 minutes or less. That way, you can say “Checkmate” sooner.
How to play chess: the basics
This is a game for thinkers and strategizers because you have to consider multiple things at once. The competition starts with two opposing players – each with 16 game pieces on their side of the board. This is how the pieces line up:
- Pawns (8)
- Knights (2)
- Bishops (2)
- Rooks (2)
- Queen (1)
- King (1)
Your goal is to reach the other side of the board without losing all of your pieces. You also need to attempt to “checkmate” the other player. Checkmate is when you put the opposing King piece in a compromising position because of a clever move. Meanwhile, the player to call “checkmate” first wins the game.
FUN FACT: “The Queens Gambit” is the most famous move in the game of chess.
How your chess pieces move
This is one of the most difficult parts of learning how to play chess because it’s a lot to remember. So, take notes and memorize how each of your chess pieces moves. After all, that’s the only way you’ll ever stand a chance of winning.
Here’s what you need to know:
- PAWNS – Pawns can only move forward one space, except on the very first move when it can move two.
- KNIGHTS – Knights move forward, back, left, or right for two spaces, or perpendicular to one space (L-shaped).
- BISHOPS – Bishops can move at a diagonal in any direction as long as it’s not blocked by another game piece.
- ROOKS – Rooks can move forward, backward, right, or left up to seven spaces at a time.
- QUEEN – The queen moves in any direction, straight or diagonally to help capture pieces without jumping.
- KING – Kings move by one square at a time in any direction but cannot move into a square taken by its own team.
Keep in mind that each piece has a few special movement rules as well. Still, start with the basics until you have the details committed to memory because some players take the game very seriously.
Learning how to play chess like a pro
Did you know that you can win at chess in just seven moves? It’s tough to do, but people who innately understand the object of the game can make it happen (sometimes). Try this:
- Get your Knight to the 5th row of the board.
- Make sure your Bishop is close to the King.
- Create a trap with your Queen to lure away the enemy’s Bishop.